The data and methodologies available to social scientists have exploded with the emergence of vast archives of passive data collection, large scale online experimentation, and innovative uses of simulation. These data are of a larger magnitude and methods are of a greater computational complexity than approaches that have dominated political science for the last 50 years. This offers the potential for rich insights into society at scale, while simultaneously introducing new ethical and infrastructural challenges. In parallel, the information and communication technologies that have driven these changes are also driving changes in politics, around the world, that require study. In order to understand the political world, it is increasingly important to gain access to the political communication and behavior occurring online. This preconference gathering will offer a forum for political science research in this emerging space. Example relevant topics/approaches include:  analysis of social media; text analysis; use of finely granular geographic data; large scale online experimentation. Scholars from all subfields of political science are welcome, as are researchers in other relevant disciplines, such as computer science, sociology, and physics.  The meeting  will take place 9am-5pm on Wednesday, August 29th at Northeastern University (a 10 minute walk from the meetings of the American Political Science Association).

Everyone who wishes to attend should apply. We welcome applications to present, discuss or simply participate. We recognize that strength comes through diversity, and actively seek, welcome, and encourage people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and identities to apply and attend.

This will be a one day, single track conference, with a keynote by Gary King of Harvard University. A wide range of subjects for presentations are welcome, including purely methodologically oriented presentations or applications thereof; synthesis/overviews of research; discussions of ethics and/or data infrastructures; and so on. Papers are not required.

Applications to present and/or attend should be submitted by 5pm, June 21 at this link.

This conference is sponsored by the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern, the Network Science Institute at Northeastern; the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University; and Sage Publishing. 

Organizing committee:

David Lazer (Northeastern University)
Nick Beauchamp (Northeastern University)
Adam Berinsky (MIT)
Ken Benoit (London School of Economics)
Fabrizio Gilardi (University of Zurich)
Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon (University of Pennsylvania)
Andreas Jungherr (University of Konstanz)
Gary King (Harvard University)
Ines Levin (University of California, Irvine)
Helen Margetts (Oxford Internet Institute)
Lily Mason (University of Maryland)
Molly Roberts (University of California, San Diego)
Derek Ruths (McGill University)
Sarah Shugars (Northeastern University)
Betsy Sinclair (Washington University)
Michelle Torres (Rice University)
Josh Tucker (NYU)
Jennifer Victor (George Mason University)
Hanna Wallach (Microsoft Research)
Duncan Watts (Microsoft Research)
Brooke Foucault Welles (Northeastern University)